How to create a safe sleeping environment for your baby

Katie Hilton registered midwife and health visitor discusses the importance of a good sleep environment for your newborn baby

Regardless of whether you are at home, out and about or away with the family, you will always want to provide your baby with a safe sleeping environment. Good sleep habits are also important for your baby’s physical health and emotional wellbeing.

The safest place for your baby to sleep in the first six months is in a cot, Moses basket or carrycot. Always be sure to place your baby to sleep on his back, with his feet at the foot of the carrycot. This helps to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Don’t be tempted to use a pillow; your baby needs a surface that is firm and flat. Position your baby out of direct sunlight, away from windows, radiators and lamps. This will help keep your baby at a safe and comfortable temperature. Room temperature should be 16-20c. If you find the room cooler or warmer than necessary, dress your baby accordingly, and remove or add a layer of bedding if needed.

Buy a room thermometer to ensure the room is always the right temperature. Don’t cover your baby with too much bedding or wrap them in lots of clothes. As a rule of thumb, don’t use more than you would yourself. Avoid quilts and duvets until your baby is more than one year old. Finally, make sure your baby’s sleep environment is smoke-free. Ensure all smoking guests wash their hands and remove their top layer of clothing before going near your baby.

Katie Hilton works for pushchair brand, iCandy. All iCandy carrycots are certified safe for overnight sleep, and are ideal for use around the home and when away.